In order to promote interdisciplinary studies, the I. M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University held a research school event from October 29 to November 25, 2015. Titled “The Legacy of Aristotle and the Bioethical Issues of Modern Medicine”, it was held for young scientists, graduate students and university students, with international participation. Among the foreign school professors invited were: Ana Lucia Smith Iltis – professor, Ph.D., director of the Center for Bioethics, Health and Society at Wake Forest University, Corinna Delkeskamp-Hayes – Ph.D., director of European Programs, International Studies in Philosophy and Medicine, Ryan R. Nash – M.D., professor, Сhairman of the Department of Medical Ethics and Professionalism, director of the Ohio State University Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, G. Ferngren – Ph.D., professor of the Department of History of Medicine, National History and Culturology at I. M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, and other scientists interested in research on the history of medicine.
The scientific school’s opening event was a seminar on October 29 at the Medical-Prophylactic Faculty, on the topic of “Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics: Reflections on Bioethics and the Contemporary State” with the participation of Ana Lucia Smith Iltis and PhD candidate in theology from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) Pascal Hammerl (o. Kappodiastrias). The seminar addressed issues in the correlation of concepts of ethics and politics of Aristotle, issues in the political history of bioethics and the preservation of morality by the state in the present day: “The present-day state is too large and diverse, and has little in common with Aristotle’s city, which was small and in fact could be a moral community”.
Another seminar that took place was “Using Aristotle for Bioethics” with the participation of Corinna Delkeskamp-Hayes. In her speech, the doctor of philosophy told the students about which responses to Aristotle’s ideas are still found in the theory of Thomas Aquinas on natural law; natural law’s success in bioethics consent; how the Orthodox perception of Aristotle differs from that of the West; how this different perception affects Orthodox bioethics and how to avoid distortions. As part of the seminars the most active students were able to ask questions of the foreign professors.
The activities at the research school’s symposium, which was held on November 11 at the scientific research center at I. M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, included the following: “The Aristotelian tradition of the person: psychology, biology, medicine, ethics”.
From November 23-25, one of the renowned foreign participants at the school, PhD, professor G. Ferngren conducted lectures for students: “Aristotle and Hippocrates: Their changing Reputations through the Centuries”, “Medicine and Spirituality: A Historical Perspective”, “The Study of Science and Religion: Changing Perspectives in the Past 25 Years”, after which the Department of History of Medicine, National History and Culturology held a meeting of the student scientific club. The leaders included: Head of department, Professor D. A. Balalykin, department professors G. Ferngren, B. L. Likhterman, Professor R. Nash and Doctor of Philosophical Sciences E. V. Afonasin (Novosibirsk).
The conclusion of the scientific program was held at the Kazan State Medical University on November 26-27, where Professor D. A. Balalykin conducted a lecture: “The epistemological significance of the dogma of the human soul’s immortality: experience in reconstructing the history of medicine”. Professor G. Ferngren spoke to the students about studying science and religion – the change of concept in the past 25 years in which he noted that science and religion are not enemies. They do not offer alternative, competing views of nature. But they are different and reinforce each other, as each of them carries out its intended role.